Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 18, 2011.

Update #23

Case Design - Signal Testing

Hello,

We wanted to supply everyone with some additional details on all of the ways we've tried to address signal issues with the case design. Currently there are some backers that are making unfounded comments to the effect that we haven't explored ways to address signal issues and just wanted to release w/o testing different designs.  This isn't the case. We also tried to study other case designs to learn what issues they ran into in hopes to design a better case. 

Attached are a variety of concepts that we looked at in addressing signal issues. This includes, but is not limited to;

1. Different material testing, ABS
2. Drilling holes in the case
3. Different taping methods
4. Different foam integration
5. Cutting the case

Only one of these seems to have any effect on the signal, which is #5. Currently we believe Element has a patent on creating a bridge made out of a different material.

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Comments

    1. Missing_small

      Creator HJL de Vink on January 12, 2012

      When can we suspect to collect our case in Europe, Netherlands. I'm waiting a real long time now. Can you ben more clear about the date you will sent it???

    2. Missing_small

      Creator Arild Schonberg on January 12, 2012

      How many supporters have you had from Europe?

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      Creator Arild Schonberg on January 11, 2012

      Hello, I'm looking forward to the cases despite the signal loss. I live in Sweden and have not yet received any cases. Are they sent to ALL backers or am I last on the list?
      Good Luck with a second version. /Arild

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      Creator Frank kluk on January 4, 2012

      i,am i going to get what i payed for any day soon?

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      Creator Trevin Chow on December 20, 2011

      Got my i+case this morning and was super impressed with the quality. Fit and finish is the best I've seen on any case!

      However, like most other people I'm seeing a huge signal loss. I used the field test mode to get objective data instead of relying on the "Bars" of signal strength.

      Note: the signal strength is listed in decibels (dB) as a negative number, so the larger the negative number the worse the signal (e.g. -66 is better than -73).

      Without the case, I was getting -63dB when the iPhone 4S is sitting on the table with no contact from my hand. I picked up the phone in a manner that I normally hold the phone (and how most people hold the phone) and waited 15-20 seconds for the field test mode to properly measure the signal strength. After I waited, it degraded to either -67dB or -69dB. I repeated this a dozen times waiting 30 seconds between attempts.

      I then put the i+case on and resting on the table, signal strength was at -66dB but when I waited a bit longer, it dropped even further to -75dB. This means that the case by itself with no skin contact is already losing between 3 and 12dB.

      When I pickup the phone, I again waited 15-20 seconds. The signal loss degrades incredilby low to -87dB!

      If you want to try this yourself, you can put your iPhone into field test mode by going to the phone app and dialog *3001#12345#* then press "Call". You'll see it switch into a field test mode app. You don't need to look into any of the menus, just look at the top left of your screen and you'll see the bars replaced by a signal strength indicator. Again, remember that a larger negative # is worse.

      Even though I know that any metal case is worse than one without it, I didn't know that this was going to happen to this extent when I backed the project. I wish it was more clearly stated in the project description.

      I'm extremely disappointed by this, and looks like i'll be chucking the case into my desk drawer.

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      Creator Scot Ballard on December 20, 2011

      Installed mine this morning and am very happy with the signal i am seeing with my 4S.

    7. Missing_small

      Creator Roel on December 20, 2011

      @Jason
      1. There are quite some problems with the signal. Are you going to fix these problems before you send the other >800 cases? I prefer to wait if necessary.
      2. Have you decided if you send the cases marked as "gift"?

    8. Avatar.small

      Creator Anthony Garand on December 20, 2011

      George. Will do

      Drew. Know if its possible to return if I already have the product?

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      Creator Drew077 on December 20, 2011

      Don't go with this case. Get a refund if you purchased it. It absolutely kills your signal, and makes your phone practically useless besides a good paper weight. I had it on for an hour and a place were I should have full sinal I recieve no service. It also drains your battery life because it is causing the antenna to constantly search for signal when it can't penetrate the barrier set up by the case. Poorly engineered. It was an OKAY first attempt, but truely it ended as a miserable fail for this company.

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      Creator George Ku on December 20, 2011

      Very interested with your results, Anthony. Please keep us posted. I really want to use the case too!

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      Creator Mike Brown on December 20, 2011

      I'm on a 4S on AT&T, went to lunch and had no signal at all in the restaurant, while my friend with the same phone on AT&T sitting next to me had 3 bars, quite disappointed to say the least.

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      Creator Anthony Garand on December 20, 2011

      Sean. I've got a iPhone 4 on ATT too. Tried on my friends Verizon iPhone 4, same thing.

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      Creator San Sargin on December 20, 2011

      I tried electrical tape on all 4 sides and it didn't really seem to make a difference. I thought about the zagg film as well but Im not sure it will work seeing as the electrical tape didn't. I'm curious though are the people with signal probs all using iPhone 4 or are there done with 4s that are having signal issues? I'm on a 4 through AT&T btw

    14. Avatar.small

      Creator Anthony Garand on December 20, 2011

      George, Lower battery life is probably due to your phone searching for signal more frequently

      Mike, I'm going to get an invisible shield later today (http://www.zagg.com/invisibleshield/apple-iphone-4-cases-screen-protectors-covers-skins-shields-a.php) with Maximum Coverage to get the side pieces and hopeful that will fix it. If not I may try lining the phone with electrical tape. Ill post if it works. I really want to use this case :/

    15. Missing_small

      Creator George Ku on December 20, 2011

      Anyone notice lower battery life?

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      Creator Mike Brown on December 20, 2011

      If anyone has a fix for the signal issue let us know. I'm afraid I'm going to have to take my case off too, I'm down to 1 bar where I'm usually at full strength and wifi is dropping by 2-3 bars depending where I'm at. : (

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      Creator Dan & Erin Lacher on December 20, 2011

      I also am seeing what Doren stated. I took off my Element case and put on my i+Case as soon as it arrived and noticed a huge signal loss both WiFi and cellular. I love the tight fit of the i+Case and it is much lighter and less bulky than my element case. I did have to currently remove my i+Case. I was going to spend some time over the next few days working on some "fixes" that might allow me to use it.

    18. Missing_small

      Creator Matt Sorenson on December 20, 2011

      Jason,
      I too have lost signal strength and don't blame anyone. It bums me out and everyone else who has the same issue, because the design is wonderful. Wish I had known or you had alerted us that this may be an issue. I want to use the case, but don't want to compromise my ability to use the phone. Similar to having a pair of shoes that look awesome, but don't fit properly and at some point you just get rid of them. Kind of a ridiculous analogy, but I think it's something we can all relate to.

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      Creator Doren Sean Michael on December 20, 2011

      I also have owned 2 Element Cases and neither of them comprised WiFi or 3G. Thank you.

    20. 41652_1523547204_4175_n.small

      Creator Doren Sean Michael on December 20, 2011

      FYI: I love the case, but will not be able to use it in it's current state. When I put it on (and damn does it look and feel sweet!) I lost 1-2 bars on WiFi and 3-4 bars on 3G, sometimes all the way down to "No Service". I normally have 5 bars on WiFi and 4-5 bars on 3G. This testing was only done within the confines of my home, because I couldn't risk leaving for the day and having "No Service" pop-up again. This may not be an issue in a strong signal area like downtown Pittsburgh for 3G, but I'm sure the WiFi would be the same since I was about 3 feet from my router. I hope this helps.

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      Creator Jeffrey Chang on December 20, 2011

      Based on our testing so far, are we experiencing a signal degradation for either WiFi or cellular signals? Just curious as to how much one would need to compromise for form versus function, if any. Also curious whether future case material can act as a passive antenna booster...?

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      Creator Vince on December 20, 2011

      "Currently we believe Element has a patent on creating a bridge made out of a different material"

      What if the coating on the case, the paint, some how possibly by luck or chance doubled as an insulator? Hypothetically, if possible this may not void patents as it could be argued that it's not a different material, simply a choice of paint.

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      Creator kel00811 on December 20, 2011

      Each challenge you overcomed, and each development you'll overcome!

    24. Missing_small

      Creator Cindy Jacobson on December 20, 2011

      I have complete confidence in you and will not second guess!

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